Saint Mary’s College of California
Since its founding in 1863, Saint Mary’s College of California has been dedicated to exceptional academics that engage the intellect and the spirit. The Lasallian tradition of John Baptist de La Salle, who founded the Christian Brothers in the 17th century, is the driving force behind Saint Mary’s. Deemed the patron saint of all those in the field of education, John Baptist de La Salle was a pioneer for secondary schools for modern languages, arts, and sciences. His life’s work and values are core tenets of Saint Mary’s mission to inspire students to lead lives of transformative service.
SMC’s Bay Area location, excellent athletic program, and Lasallian approach to education are just a few distinctions that set it apart. Perhaps most important and exciting is its unique and challenging undergraduate curriculum; at SMC, students choose from over 30 programs within the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Economics and Business Administration, and the School of Science. World-class faculty offer personalized instruction and serve as lifelong mentors and allies to students.
Get to know Saint Mary’s College of California
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Nutritional Support
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Peer Mentors
- Gender & Sexuality Center
Intended to be as inspiring as it is challenging, the January Term is a month long session that requires every undergraduate to explore a single topic in depth at an accelerated pace. Students can explore a variety of topics both at home and abroad. From subjects like wine connoisseurship and web design to destinations like Haiti or the Sundance Film Festival, students can take advantage of these exciting opportunities anywhere in the world.
For Saint Mary’s, research is a fundamental component of academic excellence. Students have ample opportunity not only to conduct research in their field, but also present it at nationally recognized conferences. Saint Mary’s is proud to produce high-achieving scholars who take pride in their work and are excited to share it with the world.
The School of Liberal Arts is especially committed to creating an inclusive academic environment. This mission is achieved through thoughtful, sustained, and equitable inclusion of diverse people and their experiences and perspectives. It is the goal of the School of Liberal Arts—and of Saint Mary’s as a whole—to make all students feel welcomed, cared for, and heard.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION INITIATIVES
At the crux of the Saint Mary’s experience, the Collegiate Seminar acts as the focal point for diversity and inclusion. Students navigate sometimes difficult discussions about race, gender, and sexual orientation with their peers and professors, utilizing the classroom as a space for intelligent, thoughtful discourse.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 140 | 10-19: 339 | 20-29: 246
30-39: 24 | 40-49: 0 | 50-99: 0 | 100+: 1
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 4%
White, non-Hispanic: 43%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 11%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 1%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 7%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
FIRST-YEAR FIRST SIX
SMC understands that the transition to college can be intimidating and thus supports freshmen as they ease into this new chapter of life. Through six weeks of various activities, Saint Mary’s closely interacts with students to introduce them to the community. Students learn about the different offices and services on campus, where to seek support when needed, and how to make the most of their four years on and off campus.
FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE COMMON READING
Designed as an introduction to collegiate academics, the first-year common reading poses a unique opportunity for new students to collaborate straightaway with their peers and professors. Though students come from all over the country and world, they all find common ground with this class-wide study of literature. The common reading list includes texts told from different perspectives to uphold the Lasallian values of inclusivity and diversity. Students have the opportunity to request titles they feel the campus would benefit from reading.
THE CORE CURRICULUM
Serving as the foundation for student learning at Saint Mary’s is the Core Curriculum. Students explore in depth three intellectual areas: Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, and Engaging the World. Through student-centered classes that bulk up their academic skills and global perspectives, students learn the skills, knowledge, and values that will continue to develop throughout their time at SMC.
The Collegiate Seminar, at the crux of the core curriculum, functions to inspire students to delve deeper into their understanding of the world through a close examination of literature, history, political theory, art, and science. Students engage closely with one another and their professor to question and theorize everything they learn. The Collegiate seminar promotes and develops critical thinking skills and effective written and verbal communication.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Four-year interdisciplinary program
Great Books orientation
Exchange student program (domestic)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
Saint Mary’s College offers students a unique and transformative college experience that is sure to inspire a lifetime of memories. The SMC experience begins with orientation at which students learn about the rich history of the campus while exploring how to engage their personal interests. And with over 50 available clubs and organizations, there’s a niche community for everyone. The vibrant community that distinguishes SMC is sustained by the incredible passion that faculty and students make clear throughout everyday life on campus.
“In a practical sense, dancing at Saint Mary’s taught me to work in a collaborative environment, instilled the importance of a strong work ethic and time management skills, and gave me a home and a family when I was far from my own.” – Ally Deboer ‘14
Students are encouraged to participate in a living-learning community, a designated residence hall or floor that is characterized by a common theme. Living-learning communities ensure that there’s always a friend with something in common right down the hall.
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Covering a wide range of topics, the clubs and organizations on campus are a great way to get involved. From Chess to Swing Dance, there’s something for everyone. Students meet people from different backgrounds as they come together over similar interests. Students also have the ability to create their own club or organization!
Just 23 miles east of San Francisco is the stunning campus of Saint Mary’s College. The white-walled and red-tiled Mission-style buildings are nestled in 420 acres of hills, pines, and hidden gardens. The beauty of campus, along with its proximity to one of the nation’s most dynamic cities, makes SMC a hub for exploration, thought, and achievement.
Athletics are an integral part of the Saint Mary’s experience. Whether it’s NCAA Division I sports, fitness classes at the new Joseph L. Alioto Recreation center, or everything in between, there are so many opportunities to get moving and stay healthy.
NCAA Division I Sports: The Saint Mary’s Gaels continue to be at the top of their game—men’s basketball, golf, and soccer as well as women’s tennis, volleyball, and basketball have all won WCC championship. The men’s basketball team has the highest-winning percentage among all NCAA Division I teams in the state of California. Former Gaels have gone on to play in the NBA and compete in the Olympics.
Men’s sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field.
Women’s sports: basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 100%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
- Lasallian Community
- Santiago Community
- Green Gaels
CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
The goal of Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS) is to provide resources for every student to plan for and create a meaningful professional life. From career exploration and internship connections to graduate and professional school planning, students have multiple resources available to them. CPDS has an extensive network of alumni, professionals, and graduate/professional schools available to connect students to individuals in organizations that are of interest to them, The office offers such workshops as “Getting Paid What You Are Worth” and “Your First 90 Days on the Job,” all of which have received accolades from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
“When it came to finding my job, the CPDS staff was invaluable. Their sessions helped me present my best self by developing a career ‘plan of attack,’ a high-quality LinkedIn page, role playing job interviews, and a personal branding campaign.” – Jordan Trafton, Philosophy Major and Investment Analyst, ‘18
Organizations consistently say that Saint Mary’s students are professional, ask good questions, make a great first impression, and stand out with the skills that come from a liberal arts education. CPDS also uses Handshake, which includes an expansive list of employers and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence. Below are examples of the resources and programs available to students.
Saint Mary’s proximity to the Bay Area has provided students access to various internship opportunities. And in 2016, the college established the Accelerated Career Entry Students (ACES) program, which develops partnerships with for-profit and non-profit organizations to develop programs that focus on developing students both personally and professionally as they progress through college. The “stairway of success” program helps move students from mentored internships in their first year and graduation and straight to entry-level employment. Company partnerships have included Cisco Systems and HP Inc.
LIBERAL ARTS BRIDGE
The Liberal Arts Bridge (LAB) is a comprehensive, four-year program of career exploration and development for liberal arts majors. LAB helps liberal arts majors explore their interests, develop relevant skills, and prepare materials and gain experience that will enable their successful transition to professional life. LAB offers students traditional career preparation services while placing extra focus on the strengths and needs associated with a liberal arts major.
CAREER GATEWAY PROGRAM
Career Gateway is an exciting, innovative, and practical experience that complements the courses at the School of Economics and Business Administration and prepares students for success in the business and professional world. Comprised of a unique set of comprehensive experiences strategically woven into the academic curriculum, the program is designed to develop poise and confidence; enhance knowledge; prepare for real-world challenges in college and beyond; and help develop a personalized professional skillset necessary to be successful in business, entrepreneurial ventures, leadership, and life.
CAMINOS A LAS CIENCIAS (CALC) PROGRAM
The Caminos a Las Ciencias (CALC) Program offers a variety of services and programs to help students succeed in their academic goals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The program prepares students in their “pathway to science” through the following: STEM Center Tutoring; Pathways to Science Speaker Series; GRE Preparation Courses; Internships/Summer Research Advising; and Science-Related Conference Assistance.
Regular decision: January 15
Priority deadline: November 15
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA
Standardized test scores | First generation
Class rank | Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Interview | Extracurricular activities |Talent/ability
Character/personal qualities | Alumni/ae relation | Geographical residence
Volunteer work | Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 540 | 75th Percentile: 630
25th Percentile: 520 | 75th Percentile: 620
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 20 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 28
Tuition & Cost
Room & Board: $15,524
Saint Mary’s offers one of the most rigorous, multifaceted liberal arts educations available. Committed, curious students who are ready to change the world are encouraged to apply. SMC is committed to making its world-class education accessible and affordable; 91% of students receive some kind of financial aid. To be considered for aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
What Others are Saying
Send a message to Saint Mary’s College of California
Fill out the form below and a representative from Saint Mary’s College of California will get in touch.